By Bryan Kim (@freshbreakfast), Dr. of Biz Dev at Tracksby. He personally admins 100+ musician Facebook Pages with a combined following of 35M fans and blogs at Trackswell.
Facebook is the largest marketing channel for most musicians and bands. Surprisingly, it’s also the one they know the least about. So in this guide, we’re going to breakdown why Facebook is important, how it works, and most importantly, the specific steps you can take to make Facebook work for you and your fans.
Artists, you can’t be blamed. Many of you developed your social networking habits on Myspace, Twitter or YouTube. These platforms are (or were) a lot more straightforward than Facebook. In most cases you post it, forget it, then maybe check the #s later. Not only do these inattentive social media habits fail on Facebook, they can actually hurt you in a very quantitative way
Furthermore, Facebook largely ignored music for most of its existence. By the time Facebook introduced musician/band pages and artists started amassing an audience there, musicians got dropped into an unfamiliar, fully-formed social networking culture – without any sort of learning curve, burdened with the behavioral baggages of outdated social networks.
But Facebook is really not that hard. And if done right, you have a lot to gain. By numbers alone, there are more people that regularly sign into Facebook than Twitter + Myspace + YouTube combined. So it’s really important now more than ever to optimize your Facebook presence.
EdgeRank: What It Is, Why It Matters
Before we get into actionable tips, we need to familiarize ourselves with the concept of EdgeRank.
EdgeRank is the name of the algorithm that Facebook uses to determine how often your content appears on a user’s news feed. This is key. Most of your fans don’t explicitly visit your artist page, so the only realistic chance of reaching them on Facebook is to appear on their respective news feeds. This is essentially what counts for “distribution” on Facebook.
EdgeRank’ algorhithm determines what a user will see on their news feed. It attempts to filter out all the crap that gets shared on Facebook, and tries to predict what any given user will actually want to see. To any given fan, your musician/band page is competing with thousands of other friends, pages and other objects to grab their news feed real estate.
So how does EdgeRank determine if your Facebook post is news feed worthy? One word: ENGAGEMENT. You need your fans to like, comment and share your Facebook posts. Anytime one of your fans engages with one of your posts, they’re more likely to see your following posts. Conversely, if a lot of your fans engage with your status update in the first few moments it’s posted, fans who sign into Facebook later are more likely to see it on their news feed. So early engagement on a post can be proportionately more important.
Have you noticed how your most liked posts end up getting the most impressions? Exactly.
There’s a lot of ways EdgeRank slices many factors that affect your news feed distribution. If you’d like to dive into the specifics of EdgeRank, google it and you’ll get a wealth of detailed articles, like this, this, and this.
No matter how facebook slices it, your actionable instruction remains the same: GET MORE ENGAGEMENT! Get those likes, those comments, those shares. Make it your main goal with Facebook. These engagement points build on top of itself, ensuring better and better distribution on news feeds over time as your engagement improves. It’s something like a credit score for your Facebook page, and the algorithm lends you more impressions the better you perform.
Now that we’ve established the importance of getting good engagement on Facebook, let’s dive into art of actually doing it. Here’s how to get Facebook’s EdgeRank algorithm to work for you…
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